Älvsbyn residents are known for their enterprising ways. Within the municipality are 800 active businesses – and a population of just over 8000 inhabitants. Älvsbyn has the best business climate in the Norrbotten region, according to the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise, and is among the leaders in Sweden for women entrepreneurs.
Facts about the municipality
Size by area
Civil society is strong and active in Älvsbyn municipality, with associations in everything from sports to culture. Älvsbyn is known as "the jewel of Norrbotten" and lies tucked in between wooded mountains by the Pite River. The river's mighty Storforsen is Europe's largest unregulated waterfall.
Most of the municipality's inhabitants live in the central town of Älvsbyn, with easy access to nature, swimming, cross-country and downhill skiing etc. Älvsbyns fastigheter is the municipal housing company, providing flats of various sizes in central Älvsbyn.
You can find further contact information for landlords on Älvsbyn municipality's website. Information about available houses, holiday homes and tenant-owned flats can be provided by e.g. Fastighetsbyrån in Älvsbyn.
New arrivals who choose to accept a relocation instruction to Älvsbyn municipality by the Migration Board or Employment Service will be given help by the municipality's integration coordinator in finding accommodation.
Language groups in the locality
Currently, the biggest language groups represented in Älvsbyn are Persian/Dari, Somali, Tigrinya, Arabic and Thai.
Associations and organisations
The members of Vänskapsföreningen (the friends' association) in Älvsbyn are people who have recently become Swedish citizens and who live in Älvsbyn. The association is a forum for new arrivals as well as native Swedes, and its purpose is to contribute to building a stronger sense of community. It organises various types of activities including cafés and pool games in order to promote communication and contacts across national borders. The municipality's various churches also arrange activities and meetings. Älvsbyn's churches include Korskyrkan (Evangelical), EFS-kyrkan (Swedish Evangelical Mission) and the Church of Sweden.
What is available in the immediate area
There are supermarkets and clothes shops, a library, an employment agency, a municipal office for the reception of new arrivals, and the social services. Shops selling second hand items, restaurants, cafés, gyms, a sports centre and an indoor swimming pool. There is a slalom slope on Kanisberget and plenty of opportunities for other winter and summer sports such as ice hockey, football, basketball and bandy.
Älvsbyn has 8 municipal preschools with a total of 21 sections. On average there are 17 children/section. Preschools strive to provide good quality education for all children in a calm and secure environment. The waiting time to have your child placed in preschool is 4 months.
Compulsory schools and upper secondary schools
There are six comprehensive schools in Älvsbyn, covering years 1-9. At the next level there are upper secondary schools with different programmes. More information about education options is available on Älvsbyn municipality's website.
Älvsbyn has good opportunities for adult education at the secondary, upper secondary and post-secondary level. Älvsbyn Folkhögskola offers Swedish for immigrants (Sfi), special needs adult education, municipal adult education, vocational training and access to distance learning programmes at Luleå and Umeå universities. Civic information courses are held in Luleå, in home languages. There is no waiting time for Sfi. More information on different forms of education is available on Älvsbyn municipality's website.
Read more about adult education in the municipality.
Health and medical care
Hälsocentralen (the health centre) is located in Älvsbyn town, and has obstetric and paediatric wards, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and a youth clinic. Specialist care is available in Piteå (50 km) and Sunderbyn (65 km). National dental health service is available in Älvsbyn.
There is the possibility of having an interpreter in all contacts with public authorities. Interpretation is usually by telephone, although local interpreters are available for some languages.
Communications to and from Älvsbyn are good. Bus connections are an easy way to travel between the major nearby towns of Boden, Luleå and Piteå. Älvsbyn also has a railway station with departures to Boden, Luleå and Stockholm. The nearest airport is in Luleå. The flight time from Luleå to Stockholm is just over an hour.
Work and entrepreneurship
Älvsbyn has Norrbotten's best business climate according to the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise. Älvsbyn is also among the leaders in Sweden for women entrepreneurs, and top of the county league for new businesses. The municipality has a vibrant and varied business community of 800 active companies.
Boliden, a mining company, plans to open a copper mine in the west part of the municipality in 2020. If the plans go ahead, Boliden will need to employ 700 people.
The biggest companies in Älvsbyn are Polarbröd and Älvsbyhus. There are also companies specialised in cold-weather vehicle testing, such as Arctic Falls which has Sweden's first permanent test tracks for winter vehicle testing and is the country's biggest company for testing car tyres.
There are other major employers within commuting distance, including the SSAB steel works in Luleå and Smurfit Kappa Kraftliner, a paper mill in Piteå.
Further information about the business community is available on Älvsbyn municipality's website.